PREFER: Can the preference for and use of LARCs in young Australian women be increased using an online “LARC first” structured patient educational video?        

Unintended pregnancies have long been identified as a significant public  health problem both in Australia and in other countries. Evidence shows that  increased use of Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs), such as  intrauterine devices and hormonal implants, has the potential to reduce  unintended pregnancy and abortion rates, and are a safer, more effective and  more cost-effective method of contraception than short acting contraception.  Despite this evidence, the uptake of LARCs amongst Australian women is low. In  2013, Sexual Health and Family Planning Australia (SHFPA) released a national position  statement, endorsed by the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) and  the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), which put  forward a framework for action to increase the use of LARCs in Australia. This  framework included recommendations that health service providers discuss the  benefits of LARCs with all women requiring contraception, and that local  referral pathways be developed for women of all ages to improve access to  LARCs. The NH&MRC funded Australian Contraceptive CHOICE study (ACCORd) seeks to put these recommendations into practice by training General Practitioners to provide ‘LARC First’ structured contraceptive counselling and  implementing rapid referral pathways. Building on the work of the ACCORd  project and leveraging off it, this project will determine whether young  Australian women’s preference for and uptake of LARCs can be increased using an  online ‘LARC First’ patent educational video, a resource developed for the  ACCORd project.  We hypothesise that  young women who watch a ‘LARC First’ patient educational video are more likely  to prefer and use LARCs. If successful, our proposed intervention could provide  a simple method of support to assist General Practitioners in increasing the  uptake of LARCs amongst young Australian women, and thereby reduce the number  of unintended pregnancies.

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